U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested 82 people from 26 nations in an operation focused on Virginia and D.C., the agency said in a release.
The arrests happened from March 26 to 30, in Virginia, including two in D.C. and one in Maryland.
Sixty-eight of the people arrested had previous criminal convictions for crimes like armed robbery, larceny and drug addiction, the agency said in a release.
Included in the arrests were a 50-year-old second lieutenant in command of the Somalian National Security Service, known for its human rights abuse, and a 47-year-old Ethiopian national convicted of felony cocaine distribution, the release said.
Eight of those arrested had no known criminal records, other than overstaying visas or ignoring final orders to leave the country. According to ICE, two people arrested had ties to the MS-13 gang, which has been linked to several murders in the D.C. area -- including the killing of a 15-year-old girl.
ICE said the dozens of people arrested came to the U.S. from a variety of countries, including Algeria, Bolivia, China, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, Honduras, Iran, Jamaica, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Peru, Philippines, Somalia, South Korea, Sudan, Trinidad, Vietnam and Sierra Leone.
In February, ICE agents arrested at least two men after they left a hypothermia shelter at Rising Hope Mission Church in Alexandria. The incident raised concerns about ICE operations in Virginia, prompting questions from Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Sen. Tim Kaine.
On Wednesday, Kaine introduced a senate bill that would prevent ICE officers from arresting people at “sensitive” locations like schools, hospitals and churches without prior approval and urgent circumstances.
“This bill helps ensure that our enforcement agencies follow humane policies that balance legitimate enforcement operations without alienating vulnerable communities by driving them deeper into the shadows,” Kaine said in a release.